Disorders of Desire

The title of this post comes from a phrase in Ronna Kabatznick’s The Zen of Eating. She says the Buddha was not an expert on eating disorders but “his expertise on hungers of the heart and disorders of desire is unsurpassed.” She goes on to define a middle path for eating, using the basic tenants of buddhist meditation, the Four Noble Truths and mindfulness meditation.



Mindfulness has been called “the medicine that cures the disease of desire.” We all have the capacity to be mindful, to pay attention in the present moment to whatever is happening with kindness and affectionate curiosity. It’s a proven way to look at our emotional hungers, and gain a true understanding of why and how we eat. Then what we eat is much easier to figure out. Most of the time we work the process backwards, worrying about what to eat (though there is a ridiculous amount of information on that subject) and obsessing about how our body looks.

I say proven because there are more and more studies showing that mindfulness-based eating awareness training gives you all of the above and more. It’s also a 2,500 year old method, that proved itself long ago.

I’ll talk more about how applying the 4 Noble Truths can help with eating awareness. Plus I love discussing the topic from this point of view–it aligns so closely to my own path.

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